It’s been one of the most nourishing friendships I’ve developed in my lifetime, and this beautiful short film by The African Attachment and Salomon Running illustrates the humility and drive of friend and musician Ben Gibbard. In 2013, I joined the Postal Service Band on tour to work as Ben’s Trail Coordinator. Since then we’ve shared countless miles and mountains, coffees and chats, and its flowered into a wonderful connection. Regularly inspired by this dude, and “The Musician” really captures his story, his motivation. Read an article I wrote for Trail Runner Magazine about the experience.
On Monday, November 30th, the first day of the Paris COP21 climate negotiations, friend and fellow climate activist Will Genadek and I decided we’d join in on the people’s action.
On the first day back from Thanksgiving Break, a friend and I decided to join in solidarity to the climate actions happening in Paris for COP21. Using sunup to sundown as our thresholds (10 hours, 7am-5pm) we sat in silence without any food, in the middle of the Oval at the University of Montana, Missoula. On the hour, we would walk the circular perimeter six times, to represent our planet’s six mass extinctions, the current one being triggered by us, humans.
The experience was heavy, difficult at times, sometimes boring, always frozen, and, in the end, absolutely beautiful. My toes are still waxy and red as it was 0 degrees Fahrenheit when we got up. The temperatures remained south of 15 degrees all day. Hundreds of students stopped to read our small leaflets. We chose to not have large signs or social media events or much planning. It was an experiment in spontaneous action from the heart.
We found that this actually disarmed a lot of people, made them come closer, made them engage. Some walked around the perimeter with us. Some told us we were crazy. Some thanked us. Some took photos, one of which somehow made it to the Congolese delegate at the Paris talks. Dogs ran into our laps and licked our faces. Small children would approach and ask: “Mommy, what are they doing?” We would wave; they waved back, smiling always.
These moments made me tear up, but then I thought tears might possibly freeze my eyelids shut so I held them back.
All day, I couldn’t stop thinking about the future. I listened to footsteps coming and going all day. Footsteps in, footsteps out. Thousands of footsteps. I thought about what kind of world our children are inheriting, what I’m leaving them with, what planet they’ll be walking into? With recent shootings in San Bernardino, California (ten minutes from my alma mater, the University of Redlands; I worked a mile from the massacre site) and more U.S. shootings than days of year in 2015, prayer is indeed powerful and necessary, but it’s not enough. We need to act, to demonstrate peace and restraint towards violence against ourselves and towards the planet. Now.
More words and actions to come. Here are some images from the day, by two wonderful photographers and powerful women, Alex Wardwell and Anna Schreck. Thanks to everyone who encouraged us to keep going.
Let’s keep going.
After touring last summer with The Postal Service, I was excited to go work with Death Cab for Cutie this summer as they played a handful of shows on the East Coast. My responsibilities included: Photographer, Trail Running Coordinator + Coach, and Personal Assistant to the Production Team. So intense. So much fun. This band and crew are some of the most talented, most professional, and kindest people I’ve ever met. Some photos.
Excited and honored to announce that I’ll be heading back on tour this summer, this time with Death Cab for Cutie as they headline Boston Calling Festival and several other shows in New York and New Jersey. Much like my time with The Postal Service last summer, I’ll be Trail Coordinator (what?!) for the entire band and crew + assisting with production. Gonna be good, real good. In NY, MA, or NJ during May? I’d love to see you.
Excited to announce that my article, “Wanted: Trail Running Coordinator,” was just published in print for Trail Runner Magazine!
The piece covers my time this summer touring with the band The Postal Service. Really honored to have this story shared on such a visible magazine (and to have also been published online for them in September.) This is my biggest circulated readership publication to date. December 2013, Making Tracks Section, page 14. Just hit the shelves, so pick up your copy at the local running store or magazine aisle.
And thanks for the visits and support for the Jasmine Dialogues. Simply put? I love you.
On July 15th, I started one of the most memorable experiences of my life: touring with The Postal Service. 23 days. 3 tour buses. 3 semi-trucks. 24 people: Band, Production Management, Merchandise, Stage Techs, Drum/Guitar Techs, Sound and Lighting Personnel. And me. All traveling together from Spokane, WA, through Vancouver, BC then down the entire West Coast, finishing off in the Midwest.
11 tour stops, 15 shows. And 15 running adventures.
As “Wilderness/Trail Coordinator,” I was hired to research the best trails/mountains at every stop along the tour, take lead singer and good friend Ben Gibbard on them, then return to the venue (alive) before soundcheck. I also worked closely alongside the production team to help with show responsibilities. The opportunity was simply unparalleled. The people were incredible, professionals in their craft, of the highest caliber, all supporting musicians embodying great humility, love and knowledge for their art. An article brewing about the experience, but for now, a few photos from the music side of things…
Sea Turtle Nest Excavator. Member of Agua Vale Mas Que Oro, organizing 70-mile Transpeninsula pedestrian protest with local activists against cataclysmic Canadian gold mining operations. March 21st. Hasta La Victoria, Siempre. Befriended two young Aussie travelers. Hours exploring trails and land. Cardon Catcus. Ocotillo. Torote. Palo de Arco. Picaya Dulce. Todos Santos Music Festival. Took Ben Gibbard, lead singer for Death Cab for Cutie/Postal Service, on 14 miles of Baja singletrack. Solid foot traveller. Sat with REM lead singer and artist Michael Stipes for a chat. Offering weekly trail running classes in town. Wednesdays, 3:30pm. Forget money, only trades/gifts accepted. Get creative. Helping conceptual design for “huerta” ecology center development near town. Giving yoga one last chance. Ukulele progress, one and two new songs. Apprenticing with neighbor to learn biodynamic gardening practices. Graduate applications in. And I wait.
Anxious. Excited. Confident. Ready. Free.
Photos accompanied by music and favorite quotes from Jay Griffith’s Wild: An Elemental Journey. Delicious book. Don’t die before reading this one.
“Nomadism is like an original fire in our wild minds; we stole it from the gods, and we made it our own, leaping to new places, quickening to motion, curious and light as flame. The keen urge has never left us to take a flinting tent and fling it under the stars, then swing on, on at dawn, on an elemental journey. That is how to burn most brightly. That is how to catch like wildfire.”